The Utah-based ULA Equipment has gone from an unknown entity to an awe-inspiring part of the AT and PCT within a couple of years. Their flagship product is the 68-liter Circuit It is an excellent balance of weight as well as durability and utility for the thru-hikers. The style is simple but still has a good organizational system with a large compartment on the front, zip-up hipbelt compartments as well as an internal storage compartment that is secure. We’ve used the Circuit for multi-day hikes in Patagonia and up to 14ers in Colorado and were amazed by how easy to load it up with gear, alter it, and reduce the size of a daypack whenever needed.
While it’s true that the ULA Circuit doesn’t have that desired Dyneema distinction but the 210 denier Robic nylon has proved to be extremely abrasion-resistant and actually less susceptible to punctures than Hyperlite and Zpacks models (in our experiences, Dyneema has a greater tendency to create small holes between fibers). Additionally, thanks to carbon-fiber suspension an aluminum stay, and a stiff foam back panel and a rigid foam backpanel, the Circuit can fully making use of its large capacity of 68 liters. Even with climbing equipment, cooking equipment as well as additional layers and many meals, we’ve discovered this bag to be comfortable and comfortable. And, to top it all off it’s an excellent value for the price, which is just $280. If you’re willing to sacrifice its water resistance and a small weight savings, and the brand reputation of the Hyperlite You will be pleased with the ULA.